• Golden Globe Awards

Pierce Brosnan At 70: Actor, Painter, Father

The Irishman is proof that one can remain a character actor even after becoming a superstar. When he lost his license to kill, he started his career anew. At 70, he has done close to a hundred films of every genre as an actor, and has produced another 14 (not all of which he starred in).
Pierce Brendan Brosnan, born May 16, 1953, is a native of Drogheda, County Louth. Although he left for England early on, no one can miss his inherent “Irishness”.  He can claim that he was discovered by none other than Tennessee Williams, who picked him for a role in the play “The Red Devil Battery Sign.”
His breakthrough came with Remington Steele, but he had always been interested in parts other than the ones that afforded him great financial security but were part of series or franchises. As he told the HFPA: “If you have a passion for your work as an actor and the longevity of your career, to stay alive creatively, emotionally, I have to work. I have to work on other pieces, otherwise I’d go nuts.”

That after 100 films he is still most closely associated with playing a certain secret agent is one of the laws of this business. Let’s flashback to Bond: “I had the great luck to not get the part the first time around,” he once said, remembering when he lost out to Timothy Dalton.
The reason was not that the Broccoli preferred Dalton but the usual contract prohibitions – Remington Steele producers were unwilling to release their title star. Three Bond films and the end of the TV series later, he famously got his chance at playing the womanizing, Martini-drinking spy. He did it four times, thinking the handshake deal for the fifth film would be as binding to the powers that be as it was to him.
When he got replaced by Daniel Craig he was understandably livid, at first. He was informed by a phone call while shooting After the Sunset, in the Bahamas. He told a UK daily: “It’s shocking to be told that you’re too old, that you’re past your sell-by date. It’s cold, it’s juvenile, and it shouldn’t be done like that, not after ten years and four films.” 
He saw the upside quickly as he told us shortly after: “Having done Bond has allowed me to create roles like Thomas Crown. As disappointed as I was and saddened by the way it came down, there was also this amazing liberation of being free at last and the excitement of not having that safety net as an actor.” Also, let’s be real, what other Bond can claim having done pop duets with Meryl Streep?
Brosnan founded his own production company, Irish Dreamtime, and produced the small but critically acclaimed Evelyn, based on a true story. In 2005 he played a globetrotting hitman in The Matador, to high praise. He then worked with director Susanne Bier in the multilingual comedy Love Is All You Need, and with Emma Thompson in Love Punch – all this among many action roles that, due to Bond, he keeps getting offered.
In 2010 he played a former British prime minister with a complicated past – whom, against the director’s insistence, had uncanny similarities with Tony Blair – in Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer.
In early 2020 he shepherded his sons Dylan and Paris when they were chosen as Golden Globe Ambassadors. He has homes in Malibu and on the island of Kauai, where he dedicates himself to a different art form. He has become so successful as a painter that, for his birthday, a Los Angeles gallery is exhibiting a new series of his works under the title “So Many Dreams” at 434 N. La Brea Ave.
As he told us: “Painting is a source of relaxation and a source of therapy. It’s a source of enjoyment and happiness, satisfaction. I have an easel when I do the movies. It’s just a way of relieving the tension, the monotony that kind of can set in. Art is very important to me as an actor, the balance of it. Just the dreaming, so to speak. I still paint. I still draw. Being in the moment. You find the right color, the right balance, and there’s a freedom of letting go.”